Letter from Langdon: Niche Pork

[imgbelt img=IMG-20130105-00093.jpg]A Nebraska farmer raises heirloom pork right in the middle of CAFO country. And he’s selling close to home.

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“Somebody’s misfortune is also somebody’s benefit.”

That’s the way Travis Dunekacke of Elk Creek, Nebraska, sums up his business, TD Niche Pork. He sells heirloom pork directly to consumers.

The “misfortune” is that diversified family farms have lost the ability to sell hogs into fair and transparent livestock markets. Consequently, CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation) hog production has become the rule instead of an exception.

But into that controlled market atmosphere a new consumer, and a new type of hog producer, have been born. And therein lies the “benefit.”

Travis has found discerning consumers in the meat-and-potatoes bread basket of America. He’s been able to build his business in a pretty unlikely spot, right square on the buckle of the Midwestern corn belt where commodity pork is supposed to be king.

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